Home : Hardware Terms : CMOS Definition

CMOS

Stands for "Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor." This technology is typically used in making transistors. The "complementary" part of the term unfortunately does not mean these semiconductors are free. Instead, it refers to how they produce either a positive or negative charge. Because CMOS-based transistors only use one charge at a time, they run efficiently, using up very little power. This is because the charges can stay in one state for a long period of time, allowing the transistor to use little or no power except when needed. Because of their wonderful efficiency, processors that use CMOS-based transistors can run at extremely high speeds without getting too hot and going up in flames. You may also find CMOS memory in your computer, which holds the date and time and other basic system settings. The low power consumption of CMOS allows the memory to be powered by a simple Lithium battery for many years.

Cite this definition:

https://techterms.com/definition/cmos

TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definiton of CMOS. It explains in computing terminology what CMOS means and is one of many hardware terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this CMOS definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!